"Weston-upon-Trent is a large and well built village, pleasantly seated on the north-east bank of the Trent, opposite to Ingestre Park, four and a half miles NE of Stafford, on the Stone and Lichfield road. It has a commodious wharf on the Trent & Mersey Canal, and a station on the Stone & Colwich branch of the North Staffordshire Railway. Its parish has long been celebrated for its salt-works, and contains 526 inhabitants, and 749 acres of fertile land, most of which belongs to Earl Ferrers, the lord of the manor, and the remainder to Earl Talbot and William Moore, Esq.
Shirleywich, a small village, one mile SE of Weston, is so called from the family name of Earl Ferrers, and from its extensive salt-works, which were established upwards of two centuries ago, and were long carried on by William Moore, Esq, of Wychdon Lodge, but are now in the occupation of James Sutton & Co, the noted carriers, who manufacture about 100 tons of salt weekly, from a strong brine which is raised from an inexhaustible saline spring into a large reservoir, from which the boiling pans are supplied.
In 1820, a prolific brine spring was discovered on Earl Talbot's estate, at Ingestre, on the opposite side of the Trent, where the Earl erected in the following year the extensive Weston Salt Works, now occupied by Poole & Co, who make about 250 tons of salt weekly. The saline water is forced in pipes across the river and canal to the large reservoir attached to these works. In 1842 another salt spring was found at Shirleywich, on Earl Ferrer's estate, which is said to possess great medicinal virtues."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]